Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Genocide and Sri Lankan Tamils Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Genocide and Sri Lankan Tamils - Essay Example The Official Languages Commission set up by the Sri Lankan government in 2005 provides figures for the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. The Tamil speaking minority in the country make up twenty-six percent of the population, which consists of thirteen percent Sri Lankan Tamils, six percent Tamils of recent Indian origin, and seven percent of Muslims. Though the Tamil speaking minority constitute more than a fourth of the population, their presence in government service is a mere 8.31 percent. Such a situation has arisen from Sri Lankan actions since the gaining of independence by using language as a weapon. Thus language has remained a key element in the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka (Reddy, 2007). While the roots of the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka may be ascribed to the colonial past, when the British imported a large number of Tamils into the country from neighbouring India, actions of the Sri Lankan government since independence are the more definitive cause for the violence in the country. Since independence successive governments have taken measures to ensure that the Tamils were denied equal opportunities to professions and the public sector. Such actions interacted in a complex manner with the already existent Sinhala Buddhist exclusivism that slowly led to the persisting animated ideology in the Sri Lankan State. Two legislative actions were to cause the cleavage and subsequent decades of violence and the rise of the LTTE as a terrorist organization to take the lead against the Sri Lankan government. The 1956 â€Å"Sinhala Only† act, which removed English as the official language and replaced it with Sinhala, was to make the Tamils disadvantaged, leading to prote sts from the Tamils. The subsequent legislation in the early 1970s, which created communal quotas for entrance to universities thereby denying meritorious Tamils admission, was to inflame the Tamils and lead to violence and the call fro a

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